A friend of mine who does a bit of on-the-side light editing for friends posed this question to me over coffee this morning:
Why do so many people’s marketing materials make me cringe?
She was quite honestly baffled. Perfectly intelligent people, most of whom managed to get through college with at least a “C” average, would write up descriptions of their products and/or services in a way that made her look at them and go, “Huh?”
She hasn’t really studied writing per se, but she knows enough intuitively to understand that a grammatically-correct sentence isn’t necessarily a well-written one.
“All I do,” she said, puzzled, “is change the passive voice to the active voice and cut out all the extra words, and they react as if I’ve performed some sort of miracle.”
“And then,” she continued,” they come back the next time with the exact same mistakes. Why?”
The answer: They’re using The Official Style.